As Winnipeggers, we know that for decades our artists have been at the forefront of the arts, developing cutting edge work and setting the tone for the whole nation. Winnipeg is indeed a city of art—a cultural capital of Canada.
Well, in 2010, it was made official.
As a part of the Cultural Capitals of Canada national program, Canadian Heritage named Winnipeg the Cultural Capital of Canada 2010, and the Winnipeg Arts Council made the most of it. Along with the designation came $2 million as a contribution to 18 months of extraordinary cultural events and arts programming. The program included special activities and events that harnessed the many benefits of arts and culture in community life and celebrated our artists as unique and vital to the fabric of Canadian culture. The events were designed to intersect with the entire population of Winnipeg, engaging myriad age, cultural and social groups.
The mission of Winnipeg Cultural Capital of Canada 2010 was to ensure that all people have access to the arts, are able to participate in the arts, and value and are enriched by the arts. In other words: ARTS FOR ALL. A free River Barge Festival at the Forks; an Arts Centre for the youth of the North End; the first Canadian International Cello Festival; an exhibition of contemporary indigenous art, and much, much more.